Ilegal Mezcal was founded by John Rexer, who began smuggling this product to his Bar, Cafe No Se, in Antigua, Guatemala. Ilegal Mezcal launched in 2005, and the brand has grown substantially in recent years. It had a very successful marketing campaign around the phrase “Donald eres un Pendejo” in 2016 for the US election, and Bacardi purchased an undisclosed amount of minority shares in the company in February of 2017. Ilegal Mezcal is 100% handcrafted using Agave Espadin that is roasted / baked using mesquite and eucalyptus wood. The cooked Agave is then finely crushed and fermented in oak vats. It is then double distilled in small copper stills. Though Eric Hernandez was originally involved in the distillation, most of the Ilegal in the US nowadays is made by Alvaro and Armando Hernandez. Eric is still involved in bottling. Their mezcal is distilled once in steel and then once in copper.